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May 2, 2012

27

LUbuntu 12.04 Review

In the world of Linux, there are many distributions out there that one can choose from whilst Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions out there. LUbuntu, is a LXDE based version of Ubuntu that is lightweight and focuses on speed and lower end systems.

The LXDE desktop is lightweight and plain compared to that of Ubuntu’s Unity Dekstop. There is no Unity task bar, nor HUD but it is still a nice desktop environment to use if having bells and whistles doesn’t matter.

lubuntu-2012-05-01-08-30-42

As with any Ubuntu variant, you have the option of running as live distribution or to install it. For those who want to install it, installation was quite simple and straight forward and wasn’t too tasking. For those who have installed Ubuntu previously, there are no differences to the process; only color scheme has changed.

The software selection in LUbuntu is geared towards using as little resources as possible but without sacrificing quality. Normally in Ubuntu or KUbuntu you would see LibreOffice as your productivity suite but to keep on with the lightweight theme, Abiword and Gnumeric are your wordprocessor and spreadsheet applications respectively. There’s no Firefox installed in Lubuntu but we do get Chromium as our default browser. Sylpheed is our lightweight and fully functional email client.

What is also different in this lightweight distribution is that there is a scaled back version of the Ubuntu Software Centre where you can install, update and remove programs. As an alternative, Synaptic Package manager is also included.

Conclusion

LUbuntu might not be as popular as big brother Ubuntu, but one thing is for sure is that Ubuntu did change the face of the Linux landscape. Here we see a specialized version of Ubuntu with its lightweight desktop to make use of older hardware while keeping a full functioning distribution.

There’s no eye-candy here just pure simplicity at its finest which may be shocking to those who are accustomed to Ubuntu’s fancier desktop.

As a note, LUbuntu gets the standard 18 months of support as it is not a LTS (Long Term Support) certified distribution where support for this distribution is good for 5 years.

Homepage: http://www.lubuntu.net
Screenshots: Lubuntu 12.04

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27 Comments Post a comment
  1. dnd
    May 3 2012

    Here is something i don’t understand. If lubuntu, ubuntu, kubuntu, etc. all use exactly the same repositories, what does it mean to NOT have 5 years of support? the packages in the ubuntu repository will have 5 years of support. since it uses the repositories, its packages will have 5 years of support.

    are they saying 1.) that if something goes wrong in month 19, we won’t help you if your problem is lubuntu-specific. or are they saying 2.) that they explicitly detect that you installed lubuntu, and will cut off the ubuntu repository for lubuntu users?

    Reply
    • Mike L
      May 3 2012

      I agree with you on this. As per Lubuntu’s wiki it indicates that it is not an LTS but XUbuntu is.

      With what happened with KUbuntu, I’m a little bit surprised here as Canonical dropped Kubuntu support and Blue Systems picked them up.

      Reply
  2. Hwrd
    May 3 2012

    My understanding is that if you build up an LXDE environment using mini.iso (downloadable at http://www.ubuntu.com), it is supported through the standard repositories for five years.

    There must be more configuration or something to what makes LUBUNTU unique compared to adding LXDE to UBUNTU, and that isn’t being maintained for teh five years.

    Just my thoughts, hope this helps.

    Reply
  3. George
    May 3 2012

    @dnd:

    As it happens, I had some systems running 9.04 that I didn’t feel like upgrading.

    When their support expired, and apt-get stopped working, I simply edited /etc/apt/sources.list to change ‘us.archive’ and ‘security’ to ‘old-releases’. Then I ran sudo apt-get update, and apt-get was once again usable.

    Reply
  4. Villard
    May 3 2012

    Just a quick note, lubuntu 12.04 actually has its own software center just like the main edition. You should try at least the live cd or read the release notes before writing a review.

    Reply
    • Mike L
      May 3 2012

      I will have to doublecheck that. I did not notice the Lubuntu Software Center when I installed Lubuntu but just read the release notes.

      I will update the review with the findings. Thanks

      Reply
      • Mike L
        May 4 2012

        You were correct Villard and have updated the review as per your findings and me unexpectedly missing Lubuntu software center.

        Reply
  5. May 3 2012

    I tried installing Lubuntu, and for whatever reason, unetbootin didn’t produce a bootable USB stick. So, I installed plain Ubuntu, selected the “partner software sources” in that new-fangled software store, and ran

    sudo apt-get lxde-core lxappearance

    Then I was able to boot into LXDE. This seems a pretty good way of doing it because you can boot back into stock Ubuntu to fix any vexing issues, and you still have the OpenBox desktop and the LXDE goodies. It sure is glorious not to have to deal with Unity. So, a warm thanks to all the LXDE/Lubuntu folks who made this happen.

    Reply
  6. I’ve found it disconcerting how the news on spyware and virus problems is not keeping up with the threat. It appears as though many years since spy ware or virus software benefited from any awareness greatly. I’m wondering in the event that’s the reason attacks continue and folks tend to be falling victim to infections and spyware.

    Reply
    • Cool
      Nov 9 2012

      Cool story bro.

      Reply
  7. Will
    May 6 2012

    I started using Ubuntu 9.04, 10.04 and 10.10. Then it got way too heavy for my machine (dell inspiron 1525, celeron 2.1, 3 gb ram) and i swapped Ubuntu for Xubuntu. Used Xubuntu 11.04 and 11.10. Then Xubuntu 12.04 got slow in my machine and i swapped to Lubuntu. So far i’m enjoying the hell out of it.

    After i log in, it ends up using 400mb RAM. I start firefox (no chromium), open 5 tabs and `top` says i’m using 650mb, where gnome 3 would be using 1,5gb and xubuntu would be near 850mb.

    Since i’m a developer and i need to use eclipse, glassfish and some other heavyweight software, i do require a lighter desktop environment.

    I REALLY liked gnome 3, it’s just too much for my machine.

    Also note that i tried Lubuntu 11.04/11.10 and it was buggy and alpha state. 12.04 is pretty polished.

    Reply
    • Mike L
      May 7 2012

      When I tested LUbuntu, I as well, had 400mb of usage. It’s a pretty good distro for older hardware. While most people prefer Firefox over Chromium I have to agree that it is a much lighter browser.

      Not everyone is a fan of the eye-candy and flash being offered in Ubuntu’s unity desktop and it has been heavier on desktop these days. 1.5GB is quite a bit if you say the avg system has 4GB of RAM.

      Reply
  8. rickster
    May 17 2012

    … Lubuntu (just like Xubuntu, or most any other “light” DE’s) start out light :)
    But once you start adding eye-candy,… to LXDE, XFCE,… things start slowing down noticeably.
    The same can also be proven, that if you take out some of the eye-candy,.. in Kubuntu you’ll have an extremely fast and light system too.
    Try Chakra(KDE) distro and you’ll quickly see what I mean, it’ll beat the pants off of Lubuntu.

    as far as LTS goes ?,
    Canaonical just doesn’t have the manpower to offer 5-year LTS for every single Bumtu version that pops up.
    Canonical made their choices, and picked Ubuntu/Unity. Unfortunately for them, and I might even add, that horrible Gnome3 here:
    1./ Unity (as well as Gnome Shell) just happened to be the “wrong” choice.
    2./ Kubuntu should have had the same LTS support as offered by Canonical -for Unity. They “royally” screwed that up by NOT giving their users that choice. Mark Shittleworths’ “ego” cannot multitask, and he just proved it.

    So, just go to MINT for now, and be done with all this malarky.
    But, I actually do like Lubuntu right now too, and where it’s trying to go.
    :)

    Reply
    • Mike L
      May 19 2012

      That is quite true that it starts off a lightweight but once we customize it, the lightweight feel is gone. I find Xubuntu has the right feel and I’ve installed awn on it and removed the default panel system

      Reply
    • Nov 12 2012

      You’re right!

      I’ve switched from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to Mint XFCE this year due to performance reasons (switching to new LTS containing Unity is much to much for my hardware) and my first feel is that there is no significant difference between performances of old GNOME desktop in it’s simple version and XFCE being lightweight by design.

      I always remove all eye-candy crap and deactivate unused services (like e.g. printing, since I have no printer) just after installing a new system and – to be honest – heavyweight GNOME after such tuning was even a bit more responsive for me than XFCE out-of-the-box

      Reply
  9. David
    May 20 2012

    @ rickster

    Kubuntu IS getting 5-year LTS support.

    Reply
  10. David
    May 20 2012
  11. brian
    May 21 2012

    argh… proofread! It doesn’t need to be perfect, but this article was difficult to read with so many mistakes. As a first time visitor to this site, it is unlikely I will be back to read other articles.

    Reply
    • Mike L
      May 23 2012

      You’re absolutely right on this. I have fixed it up and will take more time to proof-read the articles before posting them.

      Reply
  12. مهرداد
    May 25 2012

    @George

    if you active apt-get again, will you install the “latest version” of software???
    for example is it possible to install firefox 12 (using apt-get install firefox) in ubuntu 9.04?? (or via update center (maybe)) ????

    Reply
  13. David
    Jun 17 2012

    Using Lubuntu right now, very good, stable OS. It is brilliant for gaming as it will hardly take up any CPU in the background while you are playing where as Ubuntu will still run all the graphics processes even though the desktop is not visible.

    Reply
  14. mcris
    Jul 5 2012

    Hello, how can I install Lubuntu or Kubuntu over Ubuntu 12.04 without re-formating the Linux partition? I want to keep my saved data on the HDD. Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Mike L
      Jul 5 2012

      You don’t have to uninstall Ubuntu. What you can do is install LXDE and you can boot into that desktop environment instead of Unity. For Kubuntu you would need to install KDE and for XUbuntu it is XFCE. If you have a newer PC I wouldn’t suggest LUbuntu, Xubuntu maybe…

      Reply
      • Patrice Remy
        Aug 16 2012

        install lubuntu:
        sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
        or install xubuntu:
        sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

        That way, you can boot into lubuntu, xubuntu, or ubuntu.

        Reply
        • Simon
          Aug 16 2012

          I thought so – installed LXDE on a “damn slow” Ubuntu on a 1GHz 768 MB machine.
          Still was damn slow when booting into LXDE. After discarding & lubuntu install it ran.
          There seems to be a difference; sorry didn’t try to remove “almost everything” – is there a good way to do this w/o taking more time than reinstall?

          Reply
  15. phillip
    Sep 23 2012

    I love my LUbuntu. I use the Openbox session exclusively.

    Keep in mind that I’ve disabled some system services, but it takes less than 30 sec from the “Restart” button back to the desktop. I want to say less than 20 sec, but conservatively less than 30 to reboot.

    My RAM at login is approx 130 MB out of 2GB

    I used to have it down to about 90 MB with a previous install but I forget which service I got rid of. Boot Up Manager (BUM) does not list or deactivate everything that is initiated on startup.

    Reply

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